New England Patriots: 3 Players that must shine vs. Bills in Week 16

Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images
Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images /
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Photo by Bryan M. Bennett/Getty Images
Photo by Bryan M. Bennett/Getty Images /

2. Patriots defense

The strength of this New England squad has come on the defensive end of the ball, something we haven’t been used to seeing to this magnitude from the Patriots really over the past decade. While there have been great defenses, they haven’t been the catalyst for success to the degree that they have been this season.

Going into the Week 16 divisional showdown, New England holds one of the top defensive units in all of the league, ranking first in total yards per game (268.4), first in interceptions recorded (25) and giving up just 12.9 points per game, which is also the best mark in the league.

New England will go up against a Buffalo offensive unit that is statistically in the bottom half of the NFL, ranking 22nd in the league in total yards per game, averaging 336.1 yards per contest. The Bills also rank 22nd in the NFL in points per game with 20.8.

One area that the Patriots are going to have to continue to thrive in this weekend as they try to claim yet another AFC East title, their 11th straight in fact, comes on the defensive side of the field. Not only will they need to keep Josh Allen and the Bills offense at bay, much as they did in the first meeting this season, but also put the New England offense in position to control the game.